David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Mind 117 (468):899-933 (2008)
I defend the 'Repugnant' Conclusion that for any possible population of happy people, a population containing a sufficient number of people with lives barely worth living would be better. Four lines of argument converge on this conclusion, and the conclusion has a simple, natural theoretical explanation. The opposition to the Repugnant Conclusion rests on a bare appeal to intuition. This intuition is open to charges of being influenced by multiple distorting factors. Several theories of population ethics have been devised to avoid the Repugnant Conclusion, but each generates even more counterintuitive consequences. The intuition opposing the Repugnant Conclusion is thus among the best candidates for an intuition that should be revised
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Christopher J. G. Meacham (2012). Person-Affecting Views and Saturating Counterpart Relations. Philosophical Studies 158 (2):257-287.
Justin Klocksiem (2016). How to Accept the Transitivity of Better Than. Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1309-1334.
Theron Pummer (2013). Intuitions About Large Number Cases. Analysis 73 (1):37-46.
Michael Pressman (2015). A Defence of Average Utilitarianism. Utilitas 27 (4):389-424.
Franco Palazzi (2014). Would Human Extinction Be Morally Wrong? Philosophia 42 (4):1063-1084.
Similar books and articles
Stuart Rachels (2004). Repugnance or Intransitivity: A Repugnant but Forced Choice. In The Repugnant Conclusion: Essays on Population Ethics.
Thomas Søbirk Petersen (2006). On the Repugnance of the Repugnant Conclusion. Theoria 72 (2):126-137.
Jesper Ryberg, Torbjörn Tännsjö & Gustaf Arrhenius (2006). The Repugnant Conclusion. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Online; Last Accessed October 4:2006.
Jesper Ryberg, The Repugnant Conclusion. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Douglas W. Portmore (1999). Does the Total Principle Have Any Repugnant Implications? Ratio 12 (1):80–98.
Theodore Sider (1991). Might Theory X Be a Theory of Diminishing Marginal Value? Analysis 51 (4):265 - 271.
Stuart Rachels (2004). Repugnance or Intransitivity: A Repugnant But Forced Choice. In Jesper Ryberg Torbjorn Tannsjo (ed.), The Repugnant Conclusion: Essays on Population Ethics. Kluwer Academic Publishers
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads224 ( #11,902 of 1,907,353 )
Recent downloads (6 months)35 ( #22,687 of 1,907,353 )
How can I increase my downloads?
|Start a new thread||There is 1 thread in this forum|
Richard Yetter Chappell
University of York
Huemer (p.911) objects to the Average Utility Principle on the grounds that it implies:
The Sadistic Conclusion: In some circumstances, it would be better with respect to utility to add some unhappy people to the world (people with negative utility), rather than creating a larger number of happy people (people with positive utility).This does seem counterintuitive, at least at first glance. But further reflection reveals that it is not much of a move from the (not especially outrageous) claim that adding mediocre lives can make a world worse. For then we may expect that adding a great many mediocre lives could make a world much worse (transforming it from a predominantly flourishing world to a predominantly mediocre one). In any case, if this is a harm at all, then it isn't surprising that it could outweigh the modest harm of adding a single moderately bad life. We are tempted to draw a bright line between lives that are worth living and those that aren't, but ... (read more)